Why I Owe My Happiness to (The Essence of) Julia Child

1. She was a very tall woman (well over 6 foot), but she wasn’t afraid to marry a short man. I mean, technically you shouldn’t be afraid to marry a short person in the first place, but society sets these standards that the woman is supposed to be small and frail and the man should be bigger and strong. And being 5’10” (bordering on 5’11” ) myself, I find that I worry about dating a guy who is smaller than me. I don’t even think it has to do with my personal preferences – I worry about what other people would say. But reading about Julia, reading her book My Life in France, and watching Julie & Julia has made me respect…no, understand…that love can happen even when your husband/boyfriend/whatever isn’t superman, isn’t the Old Spice man, isn’t Fabio. Because (sap alert!) love is inside and what’s on the outside is just extra. I feel like I should have learned this sooner (like the million times I was told about it in elementary school and in all the sappy movies I’ve ever watched) but it just didn’t make sense until I saw it in real life.

2. She cooked.
Well. She cooked well. With Julia, there was no baked Alaska in a flower pot…she cooked real food. Food that probably made people cry because it was so good. And every time I think about good cooking, I think about her.
She started cooking because her husband was at work and she wanted something to do, something she loved. So Julia fought to go to cooking school and…the rest is history. She worked for years and years and YEARS to write a cookbook of French food for American cooks. She was revolutionary. She was wonderful.

3. Julia Child was a happy woman.
Lots of people are happy. I am happy. Mr. Rogers is happy (I love him too, but I’ll save an explosion of Mr.-Rogers-love for another blog). But Julia Child was happy in a way that makes you want to know her. Sometimes, I feel like I already do. And though she passed when I was like 10, she’s alive because she made so many other people feel good. Good at cooking, good about themselves, good because the food tasted so good. And for that I say, bon appetit!

4. Her best friend was her pen pal.
Its a super long, complicated, and slightly strange story, but my best friend and I have only met once (worry not, we have a real, live, mutual friend – I didn’t meet this person on a dating site or something). We communicated through email, telephone, and letters for two years until June when she finally came to visit me.
And that’s how it was with Julia and her best friend Avis DeVoto (yes, Bernard DeVoto’s wife). They had corresponded for years through letter/telegram/what have you. I like that Julia’s life parallels mine. It makes me feel content, like I’ve just had a lovely, warm bowl of soup.

5. She is the reason I blog.
Well, indirectly, that is. You see, Julia Child wrote a cookbook. Julie Powell wrote a blog about cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook. Her blog got so popular that she wrote a book about the experience. Her book became a movie. I watched the movie and simultaneously fell in love with Julia Child and blogging. 
This blog makes me so happy. I finally figured out what I like to write about, and I love that people I don’t know can read my writing and laugh or think or just…be. I love that people enjoy what I write. It gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. So thank you, I am eternally greatful and indebted to all of you.

P.S. Apparently, she and her husband Paul had a fantastic sex life. I guess you shouldn’t judge someone by the way she looks after all! Cheers!

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7 thoughts on “Why I Owe My Happiness to (The Essence of) Julia Child

  1. I too read the book “My Life in France” and her autobiography “Julia”. I couldn’t put the books down. They were fascinating. I love to read and write myself, yet these were outstanding. Of course I watched and bought the movie “Julie and Julia” which is one of my favorites. It makes me smile to see such a wonderful relationship between two people in a great marriage. You don’t see that much now a days. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were excellent. She should have won best actress last year because her performance was beyond superb. Sandra was great, but I can’t think of anyone better last year than Meryl for doing this superb role. Amazing!! I was shocked that she didn’t win. I can’t think of anyone else that could actually pull it off like her. The best choice you could possibly make in casting for those two particular roles. Amy Adams and Mr Medina.. I believe that’s his last name. Mike Medina. They were great as well. Anything that Nora Ephron touches turns to gold. She knows what women love to watch. She does what everyone calls “Chick Flicks”. Yet her vision goes beyond that. She and Nancy Meyers, another famous for the likes of “Somethings Gotta Give” and many more is another one. Anyway, the movie, Julie and Julia, her story and her love of cooking with all the trials and tribulations she went through is what we all call a person who truly LIVED. When I state that I mean she knew what she wanted and she went for it. I literally couldn’t put her book down and her autobiography as well. She was a fascinating person! Excellent topic and looking forward to reading your blog. I am already a fan.

    • Thank you so much for the comment! I agree, Julia was one of a kind. As we speak, her pie crust is baking in my oven and I’m getting ready to make her lemon meringue pie :)
      Julie and Julia is so good…I watch it whenever I make big fancy meals haha! Nora Ephron is wonderful – she did Mixed Nuts and My Blue Heaven, both HILARIOUS Steve Martin films. Check them out if you haven’t already.
      Glad you like the blog :) Thanks again!

    • Thanks for reading! You should pick up a copy of “Baking With Julia.” I don’t think she personally wrote each recipe, but I’m almost positive she tested all of the recipes and that the contributing bakers have her seal of approval. It was the first cookbook I started marking up and getting flour all over :) The recipes are, for the most part, easy. The stuff in there is delicious, you really should check it out.

  2. Julia Child is my futures inspiration. I am only a 16 year old girl and I have been cooking since I was well, old enogh to help my grandma in the kitchen. I used to watch Julia when I was little all the time! Thanks to Julia Child I will be going to culenary school in New York City and then going to travel the world to learn as much as I can about food. Food is my life I love it. So thank-you to Julia Child and to you for keeping her alive.

  3. Pingback: Foodstuffs « writer's block

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